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Womenswear trends boost fashion spend in August

Consumer spending on clothing rose 9.6% in August with womenswear helping to boost sales.

According to figures from Barclays, taken from purchases made on credit and debit card, consumer spending across all retail categories was up 4.2% year on year. The increase was despite tough comparisons, as August last year was one of the strongest months. Online clothing sales were up 28.4% in August year on year.

Clothing performed best of all the retail categories in August, beating July’s increase of 6.9%, according to the data. However, within this figure womenswear drove the increase, up 9.2% while menswear fell 2.5%.

The kimono trend helped boost July and August sales for retailers such as New Look, showing the importance of open-to-buy strategies to be able to react to trends, Barclays’ research concluded.

Retailers such as John Lewis also reported double-digit sales of outerwear in the third week of August following poor weather.

Barclays said it expected discounters such as Primark, TK Maxx as well as lower priced fashion chains such as H&M to continue to gain market share from the likes of Marks & Spencer.

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